The USA-Japan Women’s World Cup soccer telecast Sunday night finished as the most watched soccer game in U.S. television history.
Fox’s 25.4 million viewers for the game -- in which team USA defeated Japan 5-2 to capture its third Women’s World Cup title -- combined with the 1.27 million viewers watching the game on Spanish-language channel Telemundo drew 26.7 million TV viewers. That was more than the 26.5 million who watched the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina on ABC and Univision, according to reports.
Fox's 25.4 million viewers was the most watched women's soccer game ever, besting the 17.9 million viewers pulled in by the 1999 USA-China Women’s World Cup final, according to Fox officials.
It is also the most-watched English-language soccer match in U.S. history, easily spiking the previous mark of 18.2 million set by USA-Portugal during last year’s World Cup group stage match.
Telemundo's 1.27 million total viewers for the match was the most watched Spanish-language U.S. soccer broadcast ever, up 97% vs. the 2011 U.S. Spanish-language broadcast of the final, according to Nielsen.
The USA-Japan telecast compares favorably with other major sports events this year. Last night’s match average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals, the 2014-15 broadcast season average of every show in primetime, including Sunday Night Football, and the primetime average of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, according to Fox.
Last night’s match also delivered the most-watched telecast since the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game on CBS, which posted 28.3 million viewers this past April.
On the web, FOX Sports GO set a new record with 232,000 unique streamers, the largest authenticated streaming audience in FOX Sports GO history. That bested the previous mark set by the USA-Germany semifinal (166,000 unique streamers). Women’s World Cup matches now comprise FOX Sports GO’s top 5 most-viewed events ever, according to the company.
More details from a Fox release:
Viewing on Fox peaked between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m. ET with 30.9 million viewers. The match topped the 2011 Women's World Cup Final game -- also featuring USA vs. Japan (which won on penalty kicks) -- by 89% (13.5 million). And 43.2 million viewers watched all or part of the match.